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At Sea, Drake Passage

As the Minerva pushed north through the night the winds of the Drake Passage began to increase, bringing with it the swell. Just after midnight it had picked up, by this morning we were rocking and rolling enough to keep some in bed through breakfast. The foaming seas and high winds that we thought, only twenty-four hours ago, were a myth were rearing their heads in response. The “Drake Lake” no more, we had entered the “Drake Shake”.

By the end of breakfast the weather had increased more making moving about difficult as we made our way ever so gingerly to the Darwin Lounge for Richard’s talk “I’ve got the shot – now what do I do?” Clinging to the podium as it slid from side to side, Richard introduced us to the process of digital editing, some common misconceptions of it and how it can make good photos great. It was very interesting to hear of such great photographers as Ansel Adams being quoted as saying “The Negative is the score, the Print is the performance”.

Originally we were scheduled to join Jannie in the Darwin Lounge at 1115 for our Disembarkation briefing. However with the conditions we were experiencing the decision was made to postpone until we had entered the lee of the Beagle Channel. It was very important that we all attended this briefing, as important information on the procedures to be followed tomorrow would be revealed. At this time not everyone would be able to make it.

During the lunch hour the sun began to push through the clouds as the swell reduced and we sailed towards the Beagle Channel. Captain Moulds came over the public address system to inform us of our speed and likely ETA for Ushuaia. With the rougher seas overnight and through the morning they had needed to slow the ship down to make the ride more comfortable. For now our arrival time was to be around 2300.

Shortly after teatime our postponed briefing combined with “On Expedition” with the Expedition Team began in the Darwin Lounge. Jannie began with the disembarkation briefing, showing us a wonderful technique on folding our parkas for the trip home. Something all of us had been wondering what we would do with. Before handing the microphone over to Marco he made a drawing for the sea chart, albatross photo and artwork from Patri that raised funds for the Crew Welfare onboard and Save the Albatross Foundation. Do to all onboard they were able to raise four thousand and ninety dollars for the crew welfare an two thousand six hundred dollars for the Save the Albatross Foundation, a magnificent showing by all of us.

It was now time for Marco and the Expedition Team to take us down memory lane with “On Expedition”. A look back over the last 16 days of our exciting voyage; to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.

We were now in the sheltered waters of the Beagle Channel, on route to the pilot station and our final destination, Ushuaia. It had been the voyage of a life time and we all now understood why in the beginning Marco had said he would hold off on telling us why all of the staff come back year after year. Antarctica really is, the last great wilderness on earth; we had experienced its tranquility and its fury. We were now new ambassadors to this gem in Mother Nature’s crown.


A guest watches the wake as the Minerva sails closer to land and leaves the Drake Passage behind.

The final afternoon tea of the voyage was a popular meeting time for guests.

The Minerva sailed into the welcoming calm waters of the Beagle Channel after a rough Drake Passage the previous day.

Guests gathered in the Shackelton Lounge to share a pre-dinner drink and reminisce about their wonderful adventure to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica.

Ravi - our communication officer in his office from where the web photos & log flash to the air

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* Please Note: Daily cruise logs are posted each day based on communications and log entries received from the vessel. We will strive to keep the cruise log's updated daily, however, communications are dependent on internet connection and delays may occur due to communication interruptions and other variables outside of A&K's control. Your patience is appreciated.